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Distinctive Summer Reading

Front cover, The Library Book by Susan Orlean

As the summer vacation time starts, here are the books that top the reading piles of the Distinctive Collections and Digital Engagement staff. Most if not all of these titles can be found in a local public or academic library and would also be available through resource sharing options. Well stocked online and physical booksellers would also be able to provide copies for interested readers.

From Beaudry Allen, Preservation and Digital Archivist:

An Archive of Feelings / Ann Cvetkovich (About “archiving” trauma so major trigger warning: deals with sexual abuse and trauma)

Ethics for Records and Information Management / Norman Mooradian

Good Omens / Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

The Republic of Thieves / Scott Lynch

The Fifth Season / NK Jemisin

From Laura Bang, Distinctive Collections Librarian Archivist:

I love reading travel narratives year-round, but especially in summer. Reading is a great way to experience other countries when I can’t afford a big trip myself. This summer I’m hoping to “travel” to France, Switzerland, and Morocco with these books: The Road from the Past: Traveling through History in France by Ina Caro, Slow Train to Switzerland by Diccon Bewes, and The Caliph’s House: A Year in Casablanca by Tahir Shaw.

On the fiction side, I’m looking forward to reading American Dreamer by Adriana Herrera, A Hope Divided by Alyssa Cole, and Jade Dragon Mountain by Elsa Hart.

From Michael Foight, Director Distinctive Collections and Digital Engagement:

Underland: A Deep Time Journey / Robert Macfarlane. Natural underground explorations with extensive coverage of the Paris catacombs.

The Lost Gutenberg: The Astounding Story of One Book’s Five-Hundred-Year Odyssey / Margaret Leslie Davis. The story of a missing and then recovered copy of the Gutenberg bible.

Riding in the Zone Rouge / Tom Isitt. A never repeated staged bike race through the uncleared battlefields of France and Belgium in the months after the end of the 1st world war which well deserves the reputation as the most difficult bike ordeal in history.

Fall, or Dodge in Hell: A Novel / Neal Stephenson. Near term futurology fiction on a divided America where truth is elusive.

From Rebecca Oviedo, Distinctive Collections Coordinator:

The Goldfinch / by Donna Tartt. Art and crime! Plus a movie coming out later this summer.

The Library Book / Susan Orlean. Because… a book about libraries! Recommended by lots of people, but most recently by my mother, who’s a retired librarian.

Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge / by Erica Armstrong Dunbar. This also keeps coming up on my radar, especially in connection with Philadelphia history and the President’s House site at Independence National Historic Park, and public history in general.


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Last Modified: June 12, 2019